New Delhi, April 18 (IANS) A Group of Ministers’ meeting chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday reviewed the situation in the wake of extension of lockdown due to Covid-19 up to May 3, in New Delhi. The meeting examined suggestions received to enlist services of retired doctors, health professionals and medical students in the final year of their graduation, government sources said.
The GoM noted that these measures will allow resumption of graded economic activity keeping in view local conditions “within the ambit of measures to prevent the spread of the virus”.
The members deliberated on allowing partial economic activity in non-hotspot zones from April 20, as proposed by the Centre, sources said. The GoM obtained feedback from various Ministers on the COVID-19 situation.
The GoM unanimously appreciated the decision of gradual opening up of economic activity in areas which have not reported any Corona cases in line with the MHA guidelines issued on April 15.
During the meeting, the disbursement of Rs 31,000 crore to more than 33.25 crore beneficiaries under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana to mitigate the problems of economically weaker sections of population was “strongly appreciated”, sources said.
All GoM members felt the need to reiterate an appeal to fellow Indians to observe strict social distancing norms and refrain from participating in mass prayers or religious congregations.
Earlier Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged Indians to make contributions in feeding the needy people, making face masks at home and maintaining social distancing. The Rajnath Singh-led GoM reiterated that appeal on Saturday.
This is the fifth meeting of the GoM on COVID-19 since March 25. All inputs, suggestions and feedback from the discussions held at these meetings are conveyed to the Prime Minister by Singh.
The other ministers who were part of the meeting on Saturday were D.V. Sadananda Gowda, Ram Vilas Paswan, Smriti Irani, Prakash Javadekar, Piyush Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan, Pralhad Joshi, Giriraj Singh, Santosh Gangwar, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Hardeep Puri, G Kishan Reddy among others.
The nationwide lockdown was extended till May 3, in view of the rising COVID-19 cases, on April 14, the day the first lockdown was to end.